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Another shameful Israeli act in Malka Leifer case furthers Australian distrust

Haaretz - 2 hours 52 min ago
The latest in the legal circus that is accused rapist's extradition affair, hearing delayed because psychiatrists 'hadn't noticed' it was set

2 gunmen holed up in a Jersey City kosher supermarket before they were killed in shootout with police

JTA - 2 hours 54 min ago

(JTA) — At least two gunmen who holed up Tuesday afternoon in a kosher supermarket in Jersey City, New Jersey, after shooting at a police officer at a nearby cemetery are dead.

The gunmen, described as young juveniles, and police engaged in an hourlong shootout at the JC Kosher Supermarket. At least two police officers were shot, one in the shoulder at the Bay View Cemetery. At least one victim at the market was being treated and talking to police, WABC-TV reported.

The shooters who were killed, while a third involved in the incident is believed to be at large, Fox News reported.

A dozen public schools in the area were put on lockdown as the situation unfolded.

Jersey City is located just west of New York City across the Hudson River.

The post 2 gunmen holed up in a Jersey City kosher supermarket before they were killed in shootout with police appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Israeli towns to provide welfare funds for asylum seekers – two years late

Haaretz - 3 hours 12 min ago
The neglect in allotting earmarked funds only came to light after a High Court petition

A non-kosher latke is actually the perfect symbol of American Hanukkah

JTA - 3 hours 13 min ago

NEW YORK (JTA) —Eight unassuming gourmet latkes have become the latest controversy on Jewish Twitter.

A recent holiday issue of Food & Wine magazine featured a piece titled “8 Ways to Make the Best Potato Latkes of Your Life.” The problem? Two of those luxe latkes featured decidedly non-kosher toppings. 

One latke calls for both shrimp and squid, foods that are biblically forbidden to kosher-keeping Jews. The other features a combination of brisket and creme fraiche — these ingredients can be kosher on their own, but consuming dishes containing both meat and dairy is also a kosher no-no

I retweeted a photo of the article asking (rhetorically) what the big deal was, given most Jews don’t keep kosher and the prominence of Jewish chefs like Ina Garten, whose tender preparation of roasted shrimp cocktail louis recently had me salivating on a long flight even though I keep kosher (and consuming shellfish would send me straight into anaphylactic shock). 

A perhaps unpopular perspective:

88% of Jews (per Pew Report) don't keep kosher in their homes, and professional Jewish cooks who teach the masses how to make both trief and traditional Jewish dishes (Ina Garten, anyone?) abound. Why shouldn't Food & Wine cater to the majority? https://t.co/qmt3AJODgA

— Laura E. Adkins (@Laura_E_Adkins) December 9, 2019

Though I’m an Orthodox Jew and no stranger to Jewish traditionalism, I greatly underestimated how deeply this article would resonate with many Jews across the religious spectrum, for better or worse. 

The responses to my tweet quickly poured in: Some were deeply offended by the presence of treif in recipes for a Jewish holiday all about fighting assimilation; some rejoiced that a secular American magazine featured Hanukkah at all; some didn’t quite know what to think. 

Dozens of these thoughtful comments and one insistent colleague later, I decided to do some actual journalism and call the man behind the latke mischief himself.

Marcus ?Jacobs, 34, is the chef at Marjie’s Grill in downtown New Orleans and the man whose recipes and traditional latke prep techniques are featured in Food & Wine. Marjie’s food is, in the restaurant’s words, “inspired by Southeast Asian bar food and the local bounty of the Gulf South” — and a casual observer will notice that the treif practically leaps off the menu, so to speak. 

On Monday, I spoke to ?Jacobs between his afternoon errands. The Ohio native, who grew up in a Reform Jewish household, has been working in kitchens since age 14 and has lived in New Orleans since 2009. He also sports a Hipster or Hasid-worthy beard, adding to the delicious irony. 

View this post on Instagram

Get that Goat! We’ve got the heater turned up and this hot BBQ @homeplacepastures goat shoulder rubbed with habanero and Tobasco mash, slow smoked on oak logs & smothered with herbs, chilis and galangal! #onlyatmarjies #toasty #spicyboi

A post shared by Marjie's Grill (@marjiesgrill) on Nov 8, 2019 at 3:52pm PST

Jacobs described latkes as “not something that would typically fit within our mission statement” at his BBQ-centric restaurant, which changes often based on “whatever is good at the market.” 

But when Marjie’s Grill opened three years ago on Dec. 20, Jacobs, his business partner Caitlin Carney, 35, and another Jewish cook they employed started frying up latkes as a familiar comfort food for themselves. 

The crew even put out menorahs to mark the holiday, and once the word spread, as Jacobs puts it, “it kind of developed a life of its own.” 

“Once people became aware that we were lighting candles, doing the prayers and serving latkes, we got this really big boost of support; the New Orleans Jewish community is generally underserved,” Jacobs told me, and the sense of community the decidedly non-kosher restaurant began to foster was palpable.  

Both Carney and Jacobs were raised Jewish — like most Jews, they never really kept kosher.

“We’re maybe not the most heavily practicing folks,” Jacobs said. “You come in this very casual setting and have latkes, a bit of familiarity and a nice nostalgia.” 

And while the food certainly isn’t kosher, Jacobs said the tradition has gone a long way toward building community in the Big Easy. 

“Moms of Tulane kids began calling to order a dozen for their kids,” he told me.

Jacobs said he hadn’t seen any of the Twitter ire.

“New Orleans is such a casual town in so many ways that locally we haven’t had any backlash. We are not in a synagogue, we are a restaurant that serves shrimp and crawfish and fried pig feet,” he said. “Any argument that we are supposed to be kosher [is missing the point].” 

“I always engage with people if they want to talk or complain, that’s my job as a person in hospitality. But people need to lighten up. We’re not doing anything to affront the Jewish people.” 

To me, if a Jewish chef wants to adapt traditional recipes from his culture to fit a more secular palate, more power to him or her. 

But this whole controversy perfectly illustrates the ancient debate of who owns Judaism and its traditions. The first Hanukkah, after all, was a bloody battle between the religious fundamentalist Maccabean minority and the Hellenized majority, which included many Jews. Who does Judaism ultimately belong to today — the secular majority of Jews or the religiously fundamentalist minority?

If Judaism is primarily a religion, then Orthodox Jews like me might most easily make the case that they are the sole authentic heirs of tradition — and the latke naysayers are thus right in finding treif-laden latkes an affront. 

But if Judaism is just as much a culture, a history, a people and an idea, then the 90 percent of American Jews who aren’t Orthodox — the majority of whom don’t keep kosher — have just as legitimate a claim to the Jewish legacy. And that includes tinkering with traditions, even when some might take offense. 

According to the American Jewish Population Project, Greater New Orleans, where these controversial latkes originated, is home to approximately 15,000 Jews. Due to a variety of economic and cultural factors, that community has long been dominated by Reform and secular Jews: As early as 1842, a visiting Jewish journalist surmised that “although the political atmosphere is so liberal that a Jew could win unanimous election to the legislature, only four homes kept Kosher, only two followed the laws of Shabbas, and two-thirds of the boys were not circumcised.” The city’s first philanthropist, Judah Touro, donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Jewish institutions, but was often more interested in supporting local churches while he lived than in helping build the city’s Jewish community. 

NOLA’s very tolerance has both allowed Jews to flourish in a climate often unfriendly to outsiders and assimilate with ease. Was the trade-off worth it? 

Hanukkah is full of contradiction. It was a bloody fight for the soul of Judaism that required killing other Jews. It’s a holiday celebrating divine intervention and anti-assimilation — and has long been the holiday most widely celebrated by secular Jews.

I know many will bristle at my conclusions. But in America, insisting on Hanukkah originalism would be like insisting that American Christmas revolves around the sacred birth of Jesus Christ. Maybe in original intent, but certainly not in common practice.

The post A non-kosher latke is actually the perfect symbol of American Hanukkah appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

In unprecedented step, Israeli minister bars Palestinian governor of Jerusalem's work

Haaretz - 3 hours 15 min ago
Move comes after Justice Ministry opinion approval, although law only says public security minister can ban events and says nothing about banning individuals' activities

Albania’s prime minister lauds Israeli soldiers helping country in aftermath of deadly earthquake

JTA - 3 hours 48 min ago

(JTA) — Albania’s prime minister publicly praised Israeli military engineers who have been in the country since an earthquake struck late last month.

The Israeli engineers are among the foreign volunteers who are working to determine whether buildings not felled by the earthquake are habitable.

Prime Minister Edi Rama, visiting the western port city of Durres on Monday, told a resident who was afraid to enter his apartment building that he could have confidence in the go-ahead from the Israeli engineers.

“They are from Israel and they are No. 1,” Rama said, The Times of Israel reported. “The engineer says that after the catastrophe you should kiss your home because it has resisted [the earthquake] and has protected you.”

Later Monday, Rama in a video message sent to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked Israel for its support while surrounded by the 10 Israeli active duty and reserve soldiers.

“Bibi, shalom from Durres. We’re here with your fantastic guys. They are doing a great job in calming the people and telling them how to be resilient,” Rama said. Bibi is Netanyahu’s nickname.

The 6.4-magnitude earthquake that struck on Nov. 26 killed 51 people and injured more than 3,000. More than 11,000 buildings were damaged, leaving about 13,000 people homeless.

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Thank you for your warm words my friend, Prime Minister of Albania @ediramaal.
Israel stands with Albania in this difficult hour. pic.twitter.com/pEIPFdogGJ

— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) December 9, 2019

The post Albania’s prime minister lauds Israeli soldiers helping country in aftermath of deadly earthquake appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Bernie Sanders among 5 presidential candidates to sign senators’ letter seeking ouster of Stephen Miller

JTA - 3 hours 54 min ago

(JTA) — Bernie Sanders was among five Democratic presidential candidates who signed a letter from 27 U.S. senators calling on President Donald Trump to fire White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller over his white nationalist beliefs.

The other candidates to sign on are Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Michael Bennet of Colorado. Sen. Kamala Harris, who dropped her candidacy, is the lead signatory.

“We write to demand the immediate removal of Stephen Miller as your adviser,” said the letter sent to Trump on Monday, the Huffington Post first reported. The letter was provided to the news website by Harris’ office.

“What is driving Mr. Miller” is “not national security, it’s white supremacy — something that has no place in our country, federal government, and especially not the White House,” the letter said, according to the Huffington Post. It continued: “Simply put, Mr. Miller is unfit to serve in any capacity at the White House, let alone as a senior policy adviser.”

Last month, the Southern Poverty Law Center published hundreds of emails sent by Miller to a reporter at the conservative Breitbart News, many of them racist and anti-immigrant in nature.

Many of the 900 emails sent from March 2015 to June 2016 “showcase the extremist, anti-immigrant ideology that undergirds the policies he has helped create as an architect of Donald Trump’s presidency,” according to the center’s report. More than 80 percent of the emails relate to race or immigration.

Miller, who is Jewish and a hardliner on immigration — his ancestors were immigrants to the U.S. — did not write sympathetically or neutrally about nonwhite or foreign-born people.

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2 Jewish Congress members want White House to shun news outlet that called Trump impeachment effort ‘Jew Coup’

JTA - 4 hours 6 min ago

(JTA) — Two Democratic Jewish Congress members have called on the White House to condemn anti-Semitic comments by TruNews founder and host Rick Wiles and deny TruNews any future access to the White House.

Reps. Ted Deutch of Florida and Elaine Luria of Virginia sent a letter on Monday to White House acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney expressing surprise that TruNews participated in White House media events and Trump took a question from the website during a news conference.

In a video posted to the conservative TruNews YouTube channel on Nov. 22, Wiles, a Florida pastor known for his anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, called the effort to impeach President Donald Trump a “Jew Coup,” and said that Jews also will “kill millions of Christians” after they overthrow Trump.

YouTube banned the channel following the rant.

“As members of Congress, we are committed to combating and preventing anti-Semitism and hatred of all kinds,” the letter signed by Deutch and Luria reads. “We believe that this requires a whole-of-government approach, including public statements by our national leaders to consistently and firmly reject anti-Semitic ideas, language, and violence.”

The letter continues: “An extremist website that frequently attacks Jews and other minorities has no place in the White House. President Trump and other officials in this Administration should publicly condemn these anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and make clear that anti-Semitism will not be tolerated by this White House, including from its supporters.”

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Why Israel can and must help as Jordan's economy implodes

Haaretz - 4 hours 10 min ago
The kingdom’s economy risks going the route of Lebanese chaos. Its neighbor can help by creating business and jobs before it’s too late

Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski in Israel to meet with Netanyahu, report says

JTA - 4 hours 12 min ago

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Two former campaign aides for President Donald Trump, including campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, are visiting Israel this week to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Jewish Insider news website first reported the visit on Tuesday by Lewandowski and David Bossie, who served Trump as a deputy campaign manager. They are being considered to join Netanyahu’s campaign for a likely national election in March, Israel’s third vote in less than a year.

Netanyahu reportedly is revamping his strategy team.

Lewandowski and Bossie did not comment on the visit to Jewish Insider.

Also according to Jewish Insider, Republican pollster John McLaughlin, who was Netanyahu’s campaign pollster in this year’s two elections, will not return for a third. He declined to comment to Jewish Insider.

McLaughlin is currently working for the Trump re-election campaign.

The post Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski in Israel to meet with Netanyahu, report says appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

As pilgrims descend on Bethlehem for Christmas, Palestinians look beyond religious tourism

Haaretz - 4 hours 16 min ago
A new form of tourism has taken root, focused on the city's residents, their culture and history and their struggles under Israeli occupation

Jerry Nadler and Adam Schiff lead charge as House introduces articles of impeachment

JTA - 4 hours 21 min ago

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The U.S. House of Representatives introduced articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.

The articles, unveiled Tuesday at a news conference led by House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., accuse the president of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Three of the five committee chairmen in charge of drafting the charges are Jewish: Adam Schiff of California, who heads the Intelligence Committee; Jerry Nadler of New York, who leads Judiciary; and Eliot Engel of New York, who chairs Foreign Affairs.

The other two are Carolyn Maloney of New York, who leads the Oversight Committee, and Richard Neal of Massachusetts, who heads Ways and Means.

Nadler and Schiff, who have led the impeachment hearings, were the only two to speak after Pelosi’s brief introduction.

The charges are related to allegations that Trump sought a Ukrainian government investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden in exchange for the release of congressionally mandated defense assistance for Ukraine in its defense against Russia.

However, Schiff and Nadler also alluded to earlier allegations that Trump tried to obstruct an investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.

“Our president holds the ultimate public trust,” Nadler said. “When he betrays that trust and puts himself before country, he endangers the Constitution, he endangers our democracy and he endangers our national security.”

Democrats hope to have a vote on the articles of impeachment before the end of the year. All but a handful of Democrats have said they are ready to impeach the president.

This is only the fourth time in U.S. history that the House has drawn up impeachment articles. One case led to the resignation of Richard Nixon in 1974. In the two other cases — Andrew Johnson after the Civil War and Bill Clinton in 1998 — impeachment succeeded, but the presidents prevailed in a Senate trial.

The impeachment process has polarized Congress, with all but one or two lawmakers saying they are considering voting with the other party.

“With this disgusting impeachment charade, House Democrats have proven themselves guilty of Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Congress,” Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., who is Jewish, said on Twitter.

Schiff rejected Republican claims that Democrats were rushing to impeach.

“The argument ‘why don’t you just wait’ amounts to this: Why don’t you just let him cheat in one more election?” Schiff said. “Why not let him cheat just one more time? Why not let him have foreign help just one more time?”

The post Jerry Nadler and Adam Schiff lead charge as House introduces articles of impeachment appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Rep Eric Swalwell | We Must Hold Trump Accountable For Embracing Anti-Semitism

The Forward - 4 hours 27 min ago
President Trump, hate must not be stoked, lest innocent people die.

2 Gunmen In Shootout With Police At Kosher Grocery In Jersey City

The Forward - 4 hours 33 min ago
One police officer was reported injured by gunfire Tuesday afternoon.

Erdogan names Trump, Putin among leaders whom he admires

Haaretz - 4 hours 48 min ago
In a Q&A with university students, Erdogan said he struggles to name a current inspirational leader from Europe

As the United Kingdom heads to the polls, six Jewish races to watch

Haaretz - 4 hours 55 min ago
With anti-Semitism a major issue in Thursday's election, here are the constituencies where the Jewish vote could sway the results
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